Conforming to the contour of a Rock in a Stone Splitter

Hi there all, I am an engineering student and I have been given a project of designing a Stone Splitter capable of splitting a Stone/Rock 30"
High by 36"Long. The cutting force at the Teeth/Blades will be 500Tonnes Max
Cycle frequency will be approx 10mins per rock.
Primarily my machine will be of Hydraulic Operation e.g. With a Diesel Power Pack to run the hydraulic pump.
One of the hardest stumbling blocks I need to overcome in this project is how will I conform to the shape of the rock? See:
http://www.ceejaytool.com/PDF/Floating%20Teeth.pdf http://www.ceejaytool.com/chriscutter.html
Does anyone have any ideas of a cost effective/easy to manufacture solution for this problem? Also... in the ceejaytool (links above) site I can see that they have used a hydraulic system for this problem... how did they do this?
Thank you all,
Shay Derry, Ireland.
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Why not use high pressure water jets?
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True.... But this is the Spec i've been given but my lecturer. I've been told that it must be a hydraulic e.g. Rams etc. and the teeth/blades must conform to the rock.
If I had my way I'd be using a rotating blade :-)
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Instead of one big ram and a wedge..... How about a bunch of little wedges with smaller rams on them... this way they'd push ahead till they contact the rock... maybe some sort of intelligent manifold arrangement where they'd equalize the pressure until one wedge broke the rock... then the flow to that wedge would cut off so that the other's could continue working... (Didn't read your link... sorry)
Al...

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Hello Al, That's basically what the link showed , lot of little pistons capped with cutting teeth on top and bottom bars. Bottom bar set just below a roller belt so pistons don't have too far to travel, top bar height can probably be adjusted to accomodate different height blocks of stone without needing much piston travel. You have to guess that all the pistons are fed from a common manifold so they exert near equal pressure while nearly conforming to the rock outer edge. It's possible that there may be some valves in the top and bottom bars which let you drive the pistons to conform at low pressure, isolate a small region rated for high pressure and then move top and bottom bars to snip rock.
None of this seems all that cost-effective unless you have lots of rocks to split, nor is it particularly easy to manufacture. Water jet cutting seems too slow however (10 mins/rock in OP) and Shay now clarifies that easy to manufacture and cost effective only apply to whatever hydraulic fed conformal system they eventually end up designing.
Best of Luck - Mike
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